By Brittany Dillman, Staff Writer —

With the more popular music among college aged students typically being pop, hip-hop or country music, it is hard to imagine the possibility of spotting a college student dressed in suit and tie or a ball gown for a night at the symphony.

However, The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, who have been enriching the Chattanooga community through classical and orchestral music for decades, offers exciting opportunities for UTC students to dive into what can be unknown waters and have a great experience nevertheless.

For those who are a bit intimidated by the idea of attending a classical concert or do not have a taste for the music, there are many other opportunities to attend a concert put on by the CSO.

Special events such as “Women Rock,” which is a symphony and opera concert celebrating the women who have impacted rock and roll is a great option for symphony virgins. The CSO is bringing in award-winning singers to perform alongside them and will feature hit music such as, “Proud Mary” and “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Women.”

Another special event sure to bring you back to your childhood is “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony,” coming up in March, which is a concert celebrating the music of Looney Tunes.

“The CSO has so many different concerts,” said Marketing and Communications Manager Andre Charitat. “From classical powerhouses like a Beethoven and Brahms concert to a pop concert like Music City Hitmakers that features country hits, there’s really something for everyone.”

UTC students are able to purchase tickets for $15 to any of the regular Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. This low price and the Tivoli Theatre’s proximity to campus is encouragement for students to broaden their horizons and attend a performance even if they have never done so before.  

“I actually get a lot of really good feedback from college students who enjoy our concerts,” said Charitat. “I think there is a misperception that symphony concerts are expensive, but they are actually really affordable!”

The roots of The Chattanooga Symphony begin in 1993 when the first concert was put on by a group of young people. The Symphony grew and added professional leadership throughout the years. In 1943, the Chattanooga Opera was founded and drew in many international singers, which grew its popularity. The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera then made history in 1985 by merging together and becoming the only symphonic and opera organization of its kind in the United States.

Flash forward to 2018 and The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera is celebrating its 85th season of bringing classical and orchestral music to all ranges of people in Chattanooga.

“I’d love to stress that everyone is welcome to come to a symphony performance,” said Charitat. “I know that they can be intimidating and a little out of someone’s comfort zone but once people come to a performance I think that they are pleasantly surprised at how fun and entertaining they can be.”

For more information of ticket availability and the different shows the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera is putting on this season, visit their website at

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